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March 3, 2011
No to another war Re "A no-fly zone could be tricky," March 1 Given our country's continued though unwanted presence in Iraq and in Afghanistan, is the United States now also seriously contemplating military intervention in Libya? My sympathies are with the people of Libya, but the U.S. has already been brought low economically by a decade of unnecessary, undeclared and expensive wars. Still, we refuse to grapple with the question of whether we should be the world's cop; nor have we ever raised the far more serious question of whether a democracy can also be an empire.
January 22, 2012
A chance on charters Re "Whistle-blowers to open a charter," Jan. 18 Congratulations to the Los Angeles teachers who are opening their own charter school. They will have the professional autonomy to do the very best they can for their students without being micromanaged from above. They can manage the school themselves or select someone to be head teacher. They will be able to make key decisions about the budget as well as curriculum, instruction and staffing.
May 28, 2011 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Two of the four employee groups that rejected Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan for worker concessions last month have ratified it on the second go-round — sparing them from dozens of unpaid days off in the coming year, union officials said Friday. Villaraigosa said he will abandon plans for up to 42 furlough days for 5,500 clerks, security guards and other city workers who had originally balked at more employee givebacks. The agreement between the city and civilian employee unions delays a package of raises and requires a 4% pay cut, with proceeds going to pay for the rising cost of retirement benefits.
April 29, 2008 | David Zahniser
An alliance of public employee unions said Monday that they oppose a plan by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to impose six employee furloughs, or unpaid days off. The Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which represents about 22,000 workers, said it does not believe Villaraigosa has the legal authority to force workers to take six furlough days during the 2008-09 fiscal year. Deputy Mayor Sean Clegg said Villaraigosa already has a legal opinion from City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo stating that he can impose "short-term layoffs" on city workers.
August 17, 2005
Re "Prop. 75 Could Weaken Clout of Unions," Aug. 14 In a special election full of divisive propositions, Proposition 75 may be the most divisive of all. I can't quite get my head around why wealthy Republican Joe Schmo, who doesn't even know a union laborer, much less a nonunion Democrat like me, has any business deciding how labor unions spend their dues. It seems to me that this issue should be decided by union members and not the general voting public, especially when millions of special interest dollars are being poured into slick advertising campaigns to influence the outcome.
December 3, 2013 | By Alana Semuels and Michael Muskal
After a federal judge ruled Tuesday that Detroit was eligible for bankruptcy protection and cleared the way for municipal pensions to be cut, city officials were upbeat, called for unity and urged residents to look ahead with optimism. But for the city's employee unions, whose members, current and retired, are likely to face benefit reductions, the decision signaled the start of a new legal round - their appeal of the ruling to a higher court. The disparate reactions were symptomatic of what lies ahead for Detroit.
October 28, 2011 | By Kim Geiger, Washington Bureau
Opponents of the Ohio law that would limit public employee unions' collective bargaining power out-raised and out-spent the law's supporters more than three times over, according to campaign finance records filed Thursday. We are Ohio, a union coalition that has been leading the repeal effort, by ballot initiative, of the law that passed the Ohio Legislature in March,  has raised more than $30 million in contributions and other assistance, drawing largely on national union organizations.
Labor unions representing workers at McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics said Monday that they have formed a committee to block McDonnell's proposed sale of a 40% stake in its commercial aircraft business to a Taiwanese group for $2 billion.
May 27, 2006
Re "The end of 'more,' " Opinion, May 22 I'm happy to find that former Sen. George McGovern is still thinking clearly. He expresses dismay at the union leaders continuing the John L. Lewis philosophy of always wanting "more." I agree with his contention that in this new competitive environment, union leaders, particularly in the automotive and airline industries, need to back off and work with company executives and remain competitive. The only alternative is to go out of business.
January 31, 2009
Re "Power in the union," Opinion, Jan. 26 Robert B. Reich writes of unions as potential saviors for our current economic downturn. At 64, I am old enough to remember growing up in Fairless Hills, Penn., a town constructed by U.S. Steel in the early 1950s to house workers for a new steel plant near Philadelphia. The Steelworkers Union then obtained great benefits for its members. A menial job at "the mill" for a high school graduate paid double what my father, a high school teacher, earned.
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